Israel to let MPs visit flashpoint Jerusalem holy site

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Hundreds of Palestinians on Thursday have marched against visit of the U.S. political delegation which is expected to arrive in Ramallah city today to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas, as part of the so-called USA efforts to launch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Before arriving in the region, Kushner, along with a delegation that includes Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy Adviser Dina Powell, visited the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu, who has known Kushner since he was a teenager, received the USA delegation in Jerusalem.

"I am happy to see you and the effort you're leading on behalf of the (United States) president ... They said they would consider it but then they didn't get back to me".

At the start of their meeting, Kushner told Netanyahu that Trump is "committed to finding a solution that will bring prosperity and peace" to all the region's peoples.

Mr Kushner described the US-Israel relationship as "stronger than ever".

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told British Secretary of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt, "We convinced the global community that the best way to reach a state is through negotiations".

3 2017 shows cattle gathered under a bridge next to sewage-polluted waters on the beach of Gaza City
3 2017 shows cattle gathered under a bridge next to sewage-polluted waters on the beach of Gaza City

The meeting Thursday afternoon is part of a visit to the region by the US diplomats.

On Wednesday, Palestinian officials said they will not cooperate in any new moves toward peace until the Trump team has committed to the two-state solution and a halt in all Israeli building on post-1967 land. A spokesman for Abbas called the meeting "important and crucial".

He added that, "The Trump administration has spoken often of its desire to broker a comprehensive and transformative peace agreement in the Middle East".

In a statement, the Egyptian president's office said Kushner's team stressed that its visit in the Mideast aims to develop a specific vision for resuming peace talks so, quote, "real and tangible progress can be achieved". "So we leave it up to them to be able to work that through".

Accompanied by a high-level American delegation, Kushner reiterated Trump's commitment to finding a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Trump has referred to as "the ultimate deal". I mean, why are you so loath to say - to commit yourself - to recommit yourself to the two-state solution? "We will not deal with marginal issues".

He said it was an option under consideration because "the American administration has not presented any initiative until now, while the Israelis continue with their settlement activities and refuse to abide by obligations they signed up to".

"Their answers to these questions will enable us to say if we have a historical chance for a peace process that can end the occupation or these visits are no more than a waste of time", Malki said.

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